Trends in Non-medical Opiod Use and Heroin Addiction

Almost all physicians use opiods in their practice and need to keep up with the challenges of pain management and addiction.  An update on the problem of non-medical opiod use and heroin addiction from NEJM:

Full article link: Relationship between Nonmedical Prescription-Opiod Use and Heroin Use

An excerpt:

The transition from nonmedical use of prescription opioids to heroin use appears to be part of the progression of addiction in a subgroup of nonmedical users of prescription opioids, primarily among persons with frequent nonmedical use and those with prescription opioid abuse or dependence. Although some authors suggest that there is an association between policy-driven reductions in the availability of prescription opioids and increases in the rates of heroin use,16,18 the timing of these shifts, many of which began before policies were robustly implemented, makes a causal link unlikely…

In the majority of studies, the increase in the rates of heroin use preceded changes in prescription-opioid policies, and there is no consistent evidence of an association between the implementation of policies related to prescription opioids and increases in the rates of heroin use or deaths, although the data are relatively sparse. Alternatively, heroin market forces, including increased accessibility, reduced price, and high purity of heroin appear to be major drivers of the recent increases in rates of heroin use…

Fundamentally, prescription opioids and heroin are each elements of a larger epidemic of opioid-related disorders and death. Viewing them from a unified perspective is essential to improving public health. The perniciousness of this epidemic requires a multipronged interventional approach that engages all sectors of society.

Related blog posts:

 

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2 thoughts on “Trends in Non-medical Opiod Use and Heroin Addiction

  1. Pingback: Narcotic Slippery Slope | gutsandgrowth

  2. Pingback: Deadly Market Forces in Narcotics | gutsandgrowth

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